Wednesday, November 15, 2017

EmmDev 2017-11-15 [Lessons from 1 Samuel] Saul's end - Some important self-searching

Saul's end - Some important self-searching

So Saul and his three sons and his armour-bearer and all his men died together that same day.7 When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.      (1Samuel31:6-7)
While David is chasing the Amelikites, Saul and his army are fighting the Philistines. The Philistine force is overwhelming and Saul and his soldiers are overwhelmed. Saul and his sons are killed. (Saul actually commits suicide to avoid torture at the hands of the Philistines.)

While David found strength in the Lord and prayed for guidance, Saul sought to consult the dead by asking the Witch of Endor to summon Samuel from the grave.

This is just the last of Saul's many failures. Although he had great potential and was even filled with God's Spirit at the start of his kingship, Saul usurped Samuel's role as high priest, disobeyed the commands of God, cared too much about what people thought of him, gave a foothold to the dark spirit of depression that came upon him, became obsessed with seeing David as an enemy and, although he reconciled with David more than once, he would revert to blind insecurity-driven unreasonable hatred.

Eventually Saul's bad choices lead to a war that he fights without God's blessing and he reaps the fruit of a life of selfish self-seeking arrogance.

Because he is Israel's king, his actions have a wider consequence. His death results in defeat for Israel and the loss of a number of Israelite cities.

The responsibility of leadership is high and the consequences of leadership failure extend beyond the individual.

This is very sobering...

Is there any of Saul in me?

  • Do I try to play roles that are not mine to play?
  • Do I "cut corners", "bend rules" or "take shortcuts" for my own convenience?
  • Do I care too much about what others think?
  • Do I nurture negative thought spirals?
  • Do I let things fester in relationships and begin to see people as enemies?
  • Do I keep coming back to my insecurities even after being reassured?
  • Do I go looking for help in the wrong places?

May we be brave enough to look into this mirror and tackle the issues we see.

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